The Diamondbacks look to build on that momentum as they resume a three-game series with the struggling Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The 40-year-old Johnson became the oldest pitcher in baseball history to pitch a perfect game Tuesday, leading the Diamondbacks to a 2-0 win over the Braves. The perfect game was the 17th in major league history, the 15th since the modern era began in 1900 and the first since the New York Yankees’ David Cone threw one against Montreal on July 18, 1999.
However, Johnson, who struck out 13, was more concerned with snapping his team’s five-game losing streak.
“It didn’t faze me,” he said. “Winning the game was the biggest, most important thing.”
The Diamondbacks had scored just eight runs during their losing streak, including four in a three-game sweep against Montreal, which owns the worst record in the National League.
The Braves were overpowered by a dominating pitcher for the second straight game. They struck out 18 times against Milwaukee’s Ben Sheets in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Brewers.
“It was a situation where a dominant pitcher caught a struggling team,” Atlanta’s Chipper Jones said.
“We had guys hit the ball hard, but right at them,” right-fielder J.D. Drew said. “Things were falling in place for them.”
The Braves’ 31 strikeouts over two days is a team record. They had not been no-hit since 1979 and had never been on the losing end of a perfect game.
“It’s embarrassing,” center fielder Andruw Jones said. “It’s embarrassing when you get beat like we did.”
The fans at Turner Field even switched sides, chanting “Randy! Randy! Randy!” and giving Johnson several standing ovations.
“It’s embarrassing,” Johnny Estrada said. “I appreciate the game of baseball and the history of the game, but this …”